NFWF will invest $140 million in grants for coastal resilience

Cordova Harbor. (Aug. 24, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Requests for pre-proposals for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s National Coastal Resilience Fund are due by April 21, at the start of an annual coastal funding project that will invest $140 million in grants to protect valuable coastal ecosystems.

The NFWF grant program provides funds to restore, increase and strengthen the nation’s natural infrastructure, including coastal wetlands, reefs and barrier islands that provide a critical first line of defense for coastal communities and important habitat for fish and wildlife.

With additional funds provided this year through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, NFWF expects to invest that $140 million in grants to support nature-based solutions that will increase protection for communities from coastal storms, sea- and lake-level changes, inundation, and coastal erosion, while also improving valuable coastal ecosystems. Projects that are community led or incorporate direct community engagement and benefit underserved communities facing disproportionate harm from climate impacts are prioritized by NFWF.

A 2022 study published by NOAA and other federal agencies estimates that over the next 30 years sea levels will rise an average of 10-12 inches and, by 2050, damaging flooding in many coastal communities will occur 10 times more frequently than it does today.

In 2021, the nation experienced 20 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events causing a total of $145 billion in disaster costs, the third-highest year on record. NFWF officials said that at the same time, the US is losing valuable coastal ecosystems that help to buffer communities from such impacts and provide important habitats for fish and wildlife.

The National Coastal Resilience Fund is a public-private partnership between NFWF, NOAA, the Defense Department, Occidental, Shell USA Inc., and TransRe, with additional support this year from the Bezos Earth Fund. 

From 2018 to 2021, NCRF awarded over $136 million to 173 projects nationwide.

The full Request for Proposals can be found at nfwf.org/programs/national-coastal-resilience-fund.